Children Who Think Differently

Welcome to Laugh, Love, Learn. I created this website to share what I’ve learned about the personality traits called overexcitability.

Here you’ll find stacks of articles about how to embrace and manage the intensity and sensitivity overexcitability brings, together with links to further resources where you can find out more.


PowerWood – I learned about overexcitabilities at a PowerWood workshop. I highly recommend their excellent  booklet about OEs.

Powerwood also has a comprehensive  OEs questionnaire. Results come back instantly by email. It’s pretty accurate but sometimes worth doing a few times. The first time my daughter (then 10) did it, she came out as having no OEs (she definitely does!). When she did it again she got a more accurate result.

The PowerWood website is a great resource for parents and anyone who works with young people who have OEs. It’s also got some great articles about OE generally, plus some interviews I’ve done with OE families.

Your Rainforest Mind  – blog about overexcitability in highly able adults.

Facebook Groups and Podcast

PowerWood Group – for families dealing with OE. Friendly group for learning about and supporting overexcitability. (I’m a co-admin of the group, with PowerWood founder Simone de Hoogh.)

Laugh Love Learn Facebook page

For women with OEs – The League of Excitable Women. Run by Aurora Remember Holzman who also has a great podcast, Embracing Intensity. Aurora interviewed me on the podcast here.

My Articles about OE

Light-hearted articles about the five types of overexcitability in children:

7 Signs your child has psychomotor OE

What is sensual overexcitability?

6 Things you need if your child has intellectual overexcitability

15 Things your child with emotional overexcitability might say

The ups and downs of imaginational overexcitability

For more articles, see my Start Here page.


Living With Intensity (Daniels and Piechowski) is quite academic but still accessible. In particular the first half has some great stuff about the OEs.

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults (James T Webb)

Your Rainforest Mind (Paula Prober) is a very readable, relatable book about what it’s like to have a rainforest mind. People with emotional OE will love it. Read my review here.

(* affiliate links, but it doesn’t cost you anything ;))


I’m a qualified coach and cognitive hypnotherapist, specialising in helping parents enjoy parenting more. Contact me for a free introductory chat to discuss how I can help you.


Phone: 07810 542870

High Ability and Overexcitability

Although OE isn’t synonymous with high ability, OEs are common in the highly able population and for this reason the gifted community has written and researched a lot about them. Don’t let that put you off!

My favourite definition of the controversial G word (and that favoured by everyone I work with in the gifted community) is by the Columbus Group:

‘Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order for them to develop optimally.’ (The Columbus Group, 1991)

Adults with overexcitability

Overexcitability is a hereditary trait, so if you have sensitive and intense children you may well have overexcitabilities yourself.

The best book I’ve come across about overexcitability in adults is ‘Your Rainforest Mind‘  by American therapist Paula Prober. Find out if you have a rainforest mind by taking Paula’s fabulously light-hearted ‘totally, completely and utterly unscientific quiz‘.

See also Paula’s blog Your Rainforest Mind.

Where it all started

The innate personality traits knowns as overexcitabilities are part of the personality theory formulated by twentieth century psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski (1902-1980). Dabrowski’s theory is known as the Theory of Positive Disintegration. This article is a good introduction to it.

Comments or Questions?

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any feedback, requests, or questions!